El Rosa: Mexican, But Not Really

El Rosa is a little food cart that sits on the sidewalk on 33rd St between Walnut and Spruce, right by the David Rittenhouse Laboratories. Run by an Indonesian woman, this cart sells basic Mexican dishes. I came across it on PennFoodTrucks.com when I was looking for more trucks to check out, and figured I’d go during my one-hour break between classes since it wasn’t that far.

The Experience
The owner greeted me with a friendly hello as soon as I arrived at the cart. I scanned the menu while she served the two customers before me. There wasn’t a lot to choose from–you had a few choices of tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tostadas. Everything cost between $3 and $6. The majority of the options are pretty simple, like chicken tacos or bean burritos. And then you had your pick of medium sauce or hot sauce. So I went with the Spinach and Mushroom Burrito ($4.25) with medium sauce. Even though she took a bit of time to warm the burrito, the wait was still very short.

El Rosa

The Food
I love anything with spinach and mushrooms–pasta, crepes, pizza, omelettes…if it’s on the menu, that is what I will order 99% of the time. So I was pretty excited that I could do the same at El Rosa. The burrito was large and generously filled with rice, beans, cheese, spinach and mushrooms. However, it definitely did not taste like a burrito. I guess spinach and mushrooms don’t work for everything! The spinach combined with the black beans created a bitter taste, and even though the medium sauce was just spicy enough to mask most of the bitterness, it still bothered me. Furthermore, the burrito wasn’t wrapped very tightly. It was difficult to eat as it was falling apart. If it tasted really good, then I wouldn’t have minded digging through the mess with a fork. It didn’t really help that the spinach was soggy, either.

Spinach and Mushroom Burrito

Final Thoughts
El Rosa is great when it comes to service. The food, not so much. For $4.25, I wasn’t impressed at all. I can only speak from my experience with this one burrito though, so maybe (hopefully) the other dishes are better! There was also a sign on the cart that said “Indonesian Food on Thursdays” which sounds a lot more appealing than a soggy burrito so perhaps I’ll try that next time.


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